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Instagram, the massively popular Facebook-owned photo sharing platform, has long had an uneasy relationship with gay content, censoring images of gay parents with their kids and banning non-sexual, non-graphic images of men’s swimsuit bulges. Instagram’s tradition of uneven enforcement continues with the recent deletion of the Greeks Come True Instagram account.
Greeks Come True is the name of an annual calendar featuring steamy photographs of hunky Greek men posing nude and scantily clad. While the calendar itself features pubic hair, bare butts and parts of the penis barely hidden by towels and briefs, the calendar claims it had “carefully planned” its Instagram posts to abide by the platform’s rules.
Instagram’s official policy on nudity reads:
We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.
Here are 24 steamy images from the Greeks Come True calendar:
Greeks Come True says it has issued numerous appeals to Instagram via e-mail and the platform itself but has only received automated replies so far.
So the calendar issued the following public statement: “We have always strived to promote a healthy, archetypal image of male beauty, one that echoes our cultural heritage as Greeks while in addition challenges the norms imposed by mainstream media.”
The 2018 Greeks Come True calendar features 14 Greek men and pro athletes shot at an 18th century archontiko (a small manor) by photographer Vangelis Kyris.
Here’s a video of the making of the 2018 Greeks Come True calendar:
This isn’t the first time Instagram has removed erotic male images from its platform.
In October 2017 Instagram censored two sexy pictures of Miles Kennelly, a Harvard economics major from New York City, for violating its terms of service on nudity and sexually explicit pics — even though his pics weren’t sexually explicit.
In June 2018, Instagram suspended the account of the U.K.-based Warwick Rowers without notice. The rowers are known for their annual nude calendar that raises money for anti-homophobia sports organizations. The photos themselves often showed the rowers’ butts with just a smidgen of pubic hair but never any sexual or genital content. Instagram eventually reinstated the team’s account.